The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Missouri

December 27, 1999

There's a difference between loyalty to the home team--athletes
imported to play for our local colleges and pro franchises--and
the deep emotional bond we share with hometown heroes, the local
legends we knew back when. They are the boys and girls from next
door, or the next town. We watched them grow up, watched them
play when it was still play. Unfortunately, these luminaries are
almost inevitably dispersed because of sport's mercenary nature,
lured away by scholarships or contracts. Well, we're bringing
'em all back home for the millennium--not necessarily to where
they were born, but to where they first showed flashes of the
greatness to come. Thus, Broadway Joe is in Pennsylvania, not
Alabama or New York; and the Mailman is in Louisiana, not Utah.
The result: the top 50 from your state and, on the following
pages, a list of those from all 50 states. In short, the
ultimate home teams.

#1
Yogi Berra
ST. LOUIS
Three-time AL MVP holds records for championships (10), and World
Series games (75) and hits (71)--and malaprops (countless).

#2
Casey Stengel
KANSAS CITY
Hit .284 in 14 seasons, but the Old Professor made his mark in
the dugout, guiding the Yankees to seven titles.

#3
Tom Watson
KANSAS CITY
Won eight majors; was PGA Tour's leading money winner five
times; won at least three events every year from 1977 to '82.

#4
Bill Bradley
CRYSTAL CITY
Averaged 30.1 points at Princeton; won Olympic gold in 1964;
started on Knicks' title teams of 1969-70 and 1972-73.

#5
James (Cool Papa) Bell
ST. LOUIS
Negro leagues star hit .391 in 54 games against major leaguers.

#6
Phog Allen
INDEPENDENCE
Coached college basketball for 48 years; won 1952 NCAA
championship at Kansas; mentored numerous coaches, including
Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith and Ralph Miller.

#7
Henry Armstrong
ST. LOUIS
In 1938, when boxing had only eight weight classes, he
simultaneously held three titles.

#8
Cal Hubbard
KEYTESVILLE
Enshrined in Canton as most feared lineman of late 1920s for
Giants and Packers; in Cooperstown as an umpire.

#9
David Cone
KANSAS CITY
Five-time All-Star won Cy Young in 1994; tossed perfect game in
'99; played for four World Series winners.

#10
Horton Smith
SPRINGFIELD
Won the first Masters, in 1934; also won it in '36; ranks 12th
alltime with 29 tour wins.

#11
Roger Wehrli
KING CITY
Seven-time Pro Bowl pick; had 40 passes as cornerback for
Cardinals (1969 to '82).

#12
"Easy" Ed Macauley
ST. LOUIS
Shone at St. Louis University before pro career with St. Louis
Bombers, Celtics and Hawks; seven-time NBA All-Star.

#13
Henry Iba
EASTON
Led Oklahoma A&M to NCAA titles in 1945 and '46; only basketball
coach to win Olympic gold twice (1964 and '68).

#14
Payne Stewart
SPRINGFIELD
Won three majors, including 1991 and '99 U.S. Open; won more
than $1 million in a season three times.

#15
Earl Weaver
ST. LOUIS
Oft-ejected fireplug managed Orioles to five 100-win seasons and
1970 World Series title.

#16
Norm Stewart
SHELBYVILLE
Pitched on Tigers' 1954 NCAA title team; had a hand in 676
basketball wins at Missouri as an All-America guard and, for 38
years, as coach.

#17
Jo Jo White
ST. LOUIS
Played in seven consecutive NBA All-Star Games; helped Celtics to
two NBA titles (1973-74 and 1975-76).

#18
Helen Stephens
FULTON
Won two gold medals in track and field at 1936 Olympics, setting
a world record in the 100 meters.

#19
Jimmy Conzelman
ST. LOUIS
Quarterbacked Great Lakes Navy to 1919 Rose Bowl win; NFL MVP in
'28; coached Chicago Cardinals to only NFL title, in '47.

#20
Michael Spinks
ST. LOUIS
Won Olympic gold in '76; held light heavyweight and heavyweight
world titles.

#21
Andy Russell
LADUE
Steelers linebacker played in seven Pro Bowls in 12-year career
during 1960s and '70s.

#22
Ken Boyer
ALBA
1964 NL MVP; won five Gold Gloves at third base for Cardinals;
hit .287 during 15-year career.

#23
Harry Caray
ST. LOUIS
Holy cow! Former semipro infielder made a name for himself as
voice of Cardinals from 1945 to '69, then became fan favorite in
Chicago.

#24
Ben Jones
PARNELL
Trained two Triple Crown winners--Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation
in '48--and five Kentucky Derby winners.

#25
Pete Adkins
MEXICO
Coached high school football for 44 years, including 37 at
Jefferson City; his 405 wins are second nationally.

#26
Chuck McKinley
ST. LOUIS
Top-ranked tennis player in U.S. in 1963, the year he won
Wimbledon singles title.

#27
Zack Wheat
HAMILTON
Dodgers leftfielder had 2,884 hits; hit .375 in 1923 and '24; won
batting title in '18 (.335).

#28
Butch Buchholz
ST. LOUIS
Ranked as high as fifth in the world in tennis, but legacy is the
Lipton Championship, which he founded in 1985.

#29
Jackson Scholz
ST. LOUIS
Two-time gold medalist and first man to reach a sprint final in
three Olympics (1920, '24 and '28); immortalized in Chariots of
Fire.

#30
Rusty Wallace
ST. LOUIS
Won at least one NASCAR race every year from 1986 to '99; Winston
Cup points champion in '88.

#31
Don Faurot
MOUNTAIN GROVE
The Thin Man invented split-T during 19 seasons as Missouri
coach (1935 to '56); Tigers' football stadium bears his name.

#32
Archie Moore
ST. LOUIS
Light heavyweight champion from 1952 to '62; knocked out more
opponents (141) than any other pro fighter.

#33
Jake Beckley
HANNIBAL
Eagle Eye had 2,930 hits playing for Pittsburgh, the Giants,
Reds and Cardinals from 1888 to 1907.

#34
Judy Rankin
ST. LOUIS
Turned pro in 1962 at 17; in 1976 became first LPGA Tour player
to win $100,000 in a season.

#35
Dwight Davis
ST. LOUIS
National college singles and doubles tennis champion at Harvard
in 1899; the next year he donated the trophy for his brainchild:
the Davis Cup.

#36
Bob Kurland
ST. LOUIS
Led Oklahoma A&M to NCAA basketball title in 1945 and '46;
eschewed the pro game to play AAU ball.

#37
Mike Todorovich
ST. LOUIS
Starred in football and basketball at Notre Dame; four-year pro
career included stint with St. Louis Bombers.

#38
"Pitchin'" Paul Christman
MAPLEWOOD
All-America quarterback at Missouri in 1939 and '40; played 12
seasons for Cardinals and Packers.

#39
Bill Virdon
SPRINGFIELD
1955 NL Rookie of the Year as centerfielder for Cardinals; won
three division titles as manager of Pirates and Astros.

#40
Don Carter
ST. LOUIS
Named greatest bowler in history by Bowling magazine in 1970; 13
sanctioned 300 games.

#41
August Busch
ST. LOUIS
Local beer baron bought baseball Cardinals in 1953 when team was
considering a move to Milwaukee.

#42
Elston Howard
ST. LOUIS
Successfully succeeded Yogi Berra (#1) as Yankees catcher; won
AL MVP in 1963, hitting 28 homers and driving in 85 runs.

#43
Steve Stipanovich
ST. LOUIS
Was alltime leading scorer and rebounder at Missouri; second pick
in the 1983 NBA draft; played five seasons for Pacers.

#44
Dee Boeckmann
ST. LOUIS
Ran 800 meters at 1928 Olympics; first U.S. Olympic women's track
coach, at '36 Berlin Games.

#45
Nelson Burton Jr.
ST. LOUIS
Won record nine American Bowling Congress titles (1965 to '79);
longtime national TV commentator.

#46
Harry Keogh
ST. LOUIS
Anchored U.S. defense in 1-0 upset of England in 1950 World Cup;
coached at St. Louis for 16 years.

#47
Leon Spinks
ST. LOUIS
Won light heavyweight gold medal at 1976 Olympics; hammered
Muhammad Ali for heavyweight title in '78.

#48
Frank White
KANSAS CITY
Product of Royals baseball school of the early 1970s, won eight
Gold Gloves with Kansas City, most by any second baseman in AL
history.

#49
Rick Sutcliffe
ST. LOUIS
Righty pitcher won 171 games from 1979 to '94; won 15 or more
games in six seasons.

#50
J.G. Taylor Spink
ST. LOUIS
Turned The Sporting News into the bible of baseball by assigning
a correspondent to each team in 1910.

COLOR PHOTO: ROY DECARAVA #4 Bill Bradley

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